The NCAA took another major step into the 21st century on Thursday, announcing a new governance system that will give Power Five conferences more legislative autonomy moving forward.
While nothing is yet finalized, here is what the NCAA Steering Committee on Governance is recommending:
While restructuring the way it governs, the NCAA has also proposed a change to who does the governing.
"Under the proposal," the release reads, "the division would still be led by a Board of Directors composed primarily of university presidents. However, new voices would be added: the chair of the Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee; the chair of a new group tentatively called the Council; and the most senior Division I member of the Faculty Athletics Representatives Association’s executive committee. The council chair would always be an athletics director, giving that constituency an automatic spot on the board.
"The Board would focus chiefly on oversight and strategic issues, while leaving much of the day-to-day policy and legislative responsibility to the council. The council, composed of at least 60 percent athletics directors, would have 38 members: one from each conference plus two voting student-athletes and four commissioners (one from the Football Bowl Subdivision, one from the Football Championship Subdivision and two from the remaining conferences). The council would be the final voice on shared-governance rule-making decisions."
Everything in the above tweet has been discussed many times before, so nothing is new here. The biggest question is how it affects everyone else. We know Stanford can now provide full cost-of-attendance scholarships. But what about Fresno State?
They're still working that out. There are 27 Division I conferences beyond the SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 and Big 12, and the NCAA is still seeking feedback on how changes adopted by the Power Five would play elsewhere. The American, for instance, has said they plan to offer everything a Power Five school can, but don't expect that attitude to be universal. Which, in turn, will create more problems.
The Division I Board will tweak today's proposal over the summer and take a vote in August, with a plan to review everything at the NCAA Convention in January.
Additionally, the NCAA approved a change today to its hardship waiver policy. Instead of immediate eligibility, players transferring due to a family hardship will sit out a year like every other transfer, but then have a year added to the back end of their eligibility.